Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Getting things done...

My friend Suzi's husband is a talented woodworker. He's made many of her fibre tools, including a warping reel which is absolutely gorgeous. I asked him if he could make me a small rigid heddle so that I could use it on the Oseberg loom. I'd read someplace that some archaeologists were considering the possibilities that the Oseberg tablet weaving loom was actually used with a rigid heddle. I wanted to try that premise to see if it was at all probable.
What he made me was an absolutely gorgeous little rigid heddle made of birdseye maple. It's so nicely finished, it feels like silk - very pet-able. I've got a narrow band warped up on the loom, and now it's up to me to figure out how it might have been done.

Besides harvesting, tomatoes ( hit by blight, I hope they ripen before I lose all the plants!), pumpkins, beans and zuchinni, I've been spinning. I hand carded up a basket full of rolags using the Dyer's Knotweed dyed fibre. So far there is one bobbin almost full. I'm going to hold off on the rest of this though. First I am not sure I like this fibre all that much. I've no idea what it is...but it's a tad scratchy and a little short. Very good for a long draw but, eh... not intriguing me enough to finish the fibre right now.

However......... a few of my friends, all reenactors and all weavers have challenged each other to make hand woven hoods. We've deadlines for winding the warp, dressing the looms and for finished yardage to be off the looms for show and tell. This is exciting! First I need to find my meagre stash which has been either not unpacked yet or unpacked and then repacked when my sweetie needed to check out the room they were in. Then I need to see if I have enough yardage. I'll need someplace around 5000 - 6000 yards for this, presuming I can do as fine a fabric as I'd like. The problem is of course, that purchasing this quality of wool yarn is a tad pricey. I may opt for spinning part of it. I would repurpose that Romney cross fleece. It was going to be a cloak, but hoods are as good a project and the colour is lovely.

Yesterday I carded up a bunch of locks on the drum carder and it is the way to process this one. It did take forever though because about half of the locks have a break at the weathered tips. This means that each lock needs to have the tip tugged. Half of them break off cleanly and the rest are strong enough to process. It's a pain but look how pretty these are! I need to empty that blue bobbin and spin these batts up!

The waiting room socks are done. I had to force myself to finish them. They felt so heavy and it was pure drudgery to knit that last 1/2 sock, mainly because I think I associated them with the stress of waiting rooms and because the pattern is a straight 3 x 1 ribbing, which was worse that a stockinette stitch to knit. I didn't enjoy knitting that much ribbing! However, they are done.. washed and worn and are nice enough. They will be appreciated this winter

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I can relate to your processing woes. I'm working on a very similar fiber and have had a hard time making me want to finish - progress is so slow.

What a fascinating challenge. I look forward to seeing your hoods.